Welcome to my site. Most of my writing is concerned with the natural environment, either issues of environmental policy and practice or the more esoteric material covering nature-based sprituality and eco-philosophy or sometimes just an account of my experiences when out and about in that environment.
I am a 50-year old father of four currently living in the middle of a medieval deer park in the historic Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire. I run the Bradgate Park Trust, which is the charity that manages the Bradgate Park Estate, which is a surviving fragment of the Leicestershire estates of the Grey family, latterly Earls of Stamford, our most famous former resident being Lady Jane Grey, the “Nine Day Queen”. One of the aims of our charity is “to advance the education of the public in the care and appreciation of the environment” as well as caring for 900+ acres of countryside rich in geology, archaeology, history and wildlife. If you have not been to Bradgate Park, come and see us. We are the most popular visitor attraction in Leicestershire and listed as one of the Top 10 Parks in the UK in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014.
One of the challenges facing the Trust is the attempt to make the transition from reliance on funding and services from the local councils to standing on its own two feet as an independent charity. A key element of this is building a team that is equipped to tackle the challenges of tomorrow for, as Einstein said: “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness the created it; you must learn to see the world anew.”
Professionally, I am a Chartered Surveyor with further qualifications in Finance and Coaching & Mentoring and have held a range of senior positions in both public sector and charitable organisations. Probably the most high profile of these was my stint as Director of Countryside & Land Management at the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority from 2004 to 2007.
It was while living in Wales that I started to take a real interest in environmental policy and the way in which our elected governments have little interest in tackling some of the big issues are not easily solved within the context of their short political lives. It was in 2006 that my boss discovered I was hanging out at the protest camp that had been set up on the route of the long distance gas pipeline through the National Park that the Authority was spinelessly acquiescing to. Not a great career move and it certainly shattered any illusions I had about the effectiveness of public sector organisations in protecting the environment. It was also around this time that the Archdruid of Glastonbury & Stonehenge came for lunch and things started to get weird…
I am a blackbelt in karate, grow my own fruit and vegetables and enjoy walking up mountains, although these days I enjoy walking down them even more.